Pep Talk #WhenIBecameFree

Have you ever believed in something so strongly you were willing to lose everything by taking a risk? Putting your heart and all of your soul and time into an idea? Something you know that to do it right, it will take your focus, all of your focus to withstand the self-doubts that you know will try to stop you in your tracks? I do and let me tell you, it is taking everything in me, all those lessons of healing, to see it through.

I now know how an artist and musician feels when they too put all of their own self into their work, fighting those self-doubts, those whispers of, "You're going to fail. Fall on your face and be a laughingstock." The true meaning of a starving artist.

That is where I am at with this project of mine, #WhenIBecameFree. I am lucky that while doing the work to complete it all, I am already seeing that impact. It has taken off on a life of its own. It was one thing to interview the survivors, that alone was/is an accomplishment for this project - to sit across from people who have lived through what many would consider being a living Hell, and listen to their fight to survive, then thrive free from abuse. Now I've also witnessed these remarkable people bond. The #WhenIBecameFree survivors have joined forces to make a positive change in our rural community.

I hope I can find the words to convey the beauty in it all - I wish I could draw it so you could understand what my witnessing eyes are seeing. It is like watching a warm healing ball of light growing each time a new story is told, each time that story touches another person, planting seeds of hope and nurturing those wounds that cut so deep.

Late at night, when I cannot sleep, my thoughts drift back to the once little girl I was - that child who was so alone with the secrets I carried, always protecting them, with everything in me, keeping them locked away to never see the light of day. Remembering the horror of being a victim of child sexual assault and realizing that if that had not happened, over four decades ago, I would not be witnessing the healing in others that I am seeing today, and all because something in me knew they needed to let those secrets out like I had to do after too many years of carrying that pain.

In the last week, I have listened to a survivor speak about rebuilding a relationship with her mother after years of never speaking - another talking about freely discussing the abuse her sons also withstood, something she didn't know until she told her story and all because they kept the secrets too. Then there is that young woman embracing the label of mental illness and wanting others to feel the empowerment she does now and all because she embraced her truths.  The domino effects of healing rather than the ever growing prison of secrets.

Life is making sense.

I've let go of trying to control this project. It is fluid and every day a new aspect to appreciate enters the picture.

I know I need to reevaluate how I present this project to others - they need to see the impact, all of it -from the despair to the new days being created.  Cycles being broken.

So, that is my goal tomorrow. I need to convey all of that, somehow, in promoting #WhenIBecameFree. I need to build the support for this project so that I can dedicate that time and effort. I refuse to let this fail.  It means too much.

You may not understand this post tonight, but I do. It is a pep talk to combat that self-doubt which keeps trying to get me to stop or go into a rut.  It is very much like the pep-talks I've had with my very talented son, Kyle. That musician who struggles with "why" - why did he get the talent that he has, why does it drive him to do things others would consider too risky, not safe- not stable......Because Everything Happens for a Reason and you just have to have faith that this was meant to be. Believe in yourself like I must Believe in myself.


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